Ruining it for Everyone
03.26.2015 - 04.25.2015

Jayson Oliveria

We are born, we go to school, and we get a job. The pattern has been laid out for us. Our houses and villages, our buildings and offices, our markets and farms, our prisons and graveyards are arranged in a grid so we can move from one place to another in an orderly manner. This is not true for everyone. Some opt out of this system and defy the grid.
It is believed that there is a tribe in the depths of the Amazon rainforest that has never been contacted by anyone outside the tribe. The only evidence of its existence is a photograph taken from a plane of what appears to be aboriginal hunter-gatherers shooting arrows at the direction of the photographer in the sky. Some think that this is a hoax. 
Whether in an urban jungle or a wild forest or the sleepy countryside, we have no time to think. The oldest known sculpture that reflects thought and introspection, instead of the usual human concerns of hunting and fertility, is of a male figure sitting on a stool with its head on its hands, called “The Thinker” (“Ganditorul”). It predates Rodin’s famous sculpture of the same name (an image often used to represent philosophy) by seven thousand years, all the way back to prehistoric times during the Hamangia culture, which began around 5200 BC.
Throughout the history of human existence, the moon has been orbiting around the earth. When the moon is nearest earth in its orbit, it is at its biggest and brightest and is called a “supermoon.” Because it is closer to earth, the supermoon exerts 42% more tidal force than normal. Some believe that the extra gravity can affect the brain and the body and cause people to behave more unusually than in a regular full moon. It is also a time when people are prone to introspection and defy society or tribes.
Jobs, patterns, grids, uncontacted tribes, the thinker, the artist, the supermoon--what do all of these got to do with each other? They are all on view at the Art Informal Gallery on March 26 until April 25, 2015 together with the five senses, the outhouse, the church, music, a dressed chicken (that smokes), and a rat’s ass. This is Jayson Oliveria’s solo exhibition, “Ruining It for Everyone.”   
--Masi Solano

Someone Else
03.26.2015 - 04.25.2015

Julius Redillas

People's images are bursts of colors. They were never black and white. An individual’s image is a personification of varying ideals or disasters, depending on how he, or the public, depicts him. This idea was Julius Redillas' guide in his upcoming solo exhibition "Someone Else". Once again displaying his penchant for tarnishing as a method of embellishment, Redillas compared this imposed portrayal of individuals as comparison to how the current society is very obsessed on how they want to be perceived by the viewer.

Redillas is among the few contemporary artists today who dazzle through works in watercolor on paper. For this exhibit, he is presenting a series of portraits of people whose images are already familiar, images that became part of history. He remains consistent with using images scavenged from the internet as portrait references--the surplus of images he gets to see everyday, unintentionally or otherwise. By definition, a portrait's intent is to depict the visual appearance of the subject. But in this case, he attempts to do the opposite as he pretends to know his subjects by heart, which he doesn't, and creates stories on how he wants them to be portrayed. In the process, what comes out is a series of eerily beautiful, detailed and meticulously crafted portraits of entirely different beings.

Words by Richard Coronel 

Evidence Against Interest
03.26.2015 - 04.25.2015

Ronald Achacoso

“All art is at once surface and symbol. those who go beneath and read the symbols do so at their peril.”  The words are from Oscar Wilde’s preface to his own novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and, slanted a particular way, they tend to echo the temperament that undergirds Ronald Achacoso’s new show, Evidence Against Interest. But as the show’s title bears out, the voice guiding Achacoso is not so much Wilde as it is Christopher Hitchens.  Achacoso takes his title from a phrase Hitchens used to describe the lavishly-funded archeological project undertaken by the newly-formed state of Israel to dig up Biblical evidence that would corroborate their birthright, only to be blindsided when what they unearthed eventually negated and invalidated their claims.  
Evidence Against Interest can be taken as Achacoso’s own archeological dig. In a very literal sense on one hand, given his fascination with layering (of images, of textures, of paint) as both a means of obfuscation and articulation, and how the works eventually undergo a similar geological process, of sedimentation, of accretion. And in a very philosophical sense on the other, the way it similarly inquires into his faith, only art, not religion, is his stand-in godhead, and he milks the parallel with vigor.
But where Hitchens was a man whose lack of faith was utter, absolute and tenacious, Achacoso is more like a collapsed acolyte, frustrated but resolute. His is a lapsed faith and Evidence Against Interest is not so much a search for answers as it is an interrogation, a rigorous questioning, fed in turn by an equally rigorous doubting, of everything he used to hold true, a coming to terms with falling from great heights of zeal in a disillusioned heap. In questioning if art still possesses the capacity to attain transcendence, Achacoso is ultimately questioning if he is complicit  in his own disillusionment and how much of the lack he finds in art can be found in  his own work, too. After all, what good is a convincing illusion if the illusionist himself isn’t convinced?
The push and pull between the anxieties that frustrate him and his persistence despite the frustration, plays itself out with an almost physical, certainly visceral intensity in his work, attuned as he is to the dissonances that emerge from the co-opting of a functioning personal belief system into an organized and rampant church.  Evidence Against Interest is a howl against that tension and all its eventual dichotomies:  faith and dogma, meat and spirit, surface and symbol.


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